Dearborn Public Schools to offer online-only learning option this fall

School board agrees to start year online


DEARBORN, Mich. – Dearborn Public Schools announced last week that the district will offer an online-only option for students this fall amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Update Sept. 16, 2020: Dearborn Public Schools extends online learning until at least Oct. 12

The Board of Education agreed Monday night for the district to start the school year online for all students. The district says K-12 students can choose to enroll in their Virtual Learning Academy for the 2020-2021 school year. Schools will also offer optional in-school learning labs for more support.

Families should be aware that enrolling in the Virtual Learning Academy is a yearlong commitment, and students won’t have the option to return to traditional in-person learning until the 2021-2022 school year, officials said.

Dearborn parents and guardians who would like their students to participate in the remote learning model are asked to enroll in the program by Aug. 17.

“We realize some of our parents are extremely concerned about COVID-19, especially if they have children or other family members with other underlying health issues,” said Dearborn Public Schools Superintendent Glenn Maleyko. “This provides an option for parents who know they want their children learning online for at least this school year. Those students will have access to our same great Dearborn teaching staff and the same curriculums used across the district. That consistency will help students succeed while learning from home and if they opt to return to in-building learning the following year.”

Online classes will include live lessons and scheduled classwork and assignments.

Middle school and high school students should expect to spend five to eight hours a week on each class, totaling 30 or more hours each week. Elementary students should expect to work 20 to 30 hours a week on school work, officials said.

The district is asking parents to carefully consider the commitment of virtual learning, saying students will require self-motivation and advocacy, and it will be necessary for parents to offer support.

Official plans for how the district will resume learning in the fall are expected to be announced next week.

All district classes are currently scheduled to begin on Aug. 31 -- whether they are online or in person.

More: Here’s what Michigan school districts have planned for the fall amid the pandemic

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.